The second race of the Asian Le Mans Series in Dubai was a tough one for the Inter Europol Competition team. The team’s Ligier JS P320 #13 started from 4th, got a bit damaged after contact with another car in the first hour, then got a 10 seconds penalty for a pit stop infringement, moved down as far as 7th but in the end finished in 5th position, again.
For the first two hours of the race, the car was in the hands of the bronze driver Alex Bukhantsov. He was having a more difficult time than yesterday and could not hold 4th place. He handed the car to Oliveira when in 7th place. Oliveira moved up to 6th and from that position, Nico Pino started the last hour. Pino pushed hard but had to be happy to, once again, finish fifth.
Alex Bukhantsov: “I missed the sharpness from yesterday. And today I found it a bit harder to manage the car in the GT traffic. After my contact with another car, I had a bit of pain in my right arm, but luckily that went away after a couple of laps. Honestly, I think I was still recovering from the experience of yesterday. I wish the team good luck team in Abu Dhabi.”
Guilherme Oliveira: “Immediately, I had to go for a strong pace to close the gap. I tried to get the maximum out of the car, but it was hard to do with the result of the damage. Yesterday we had more margin to manage the gap, and we were calmer. Today we were more pressured.”
Nico Pino: “A bit of an unfortunate race. The car was getting worse throughout the race. I had a lot oversteer and the car snapped and felt loose in the rear. It was tough to handle. I hope for more luck in Abu Dhabi and really hope for a podium. The car and the line-up are strong, so everything is possible.”
Sascha Fassbender (team manager): “A very eventful weekend. A big thank you to Alex who took the place of James (Dayson) who had Covid and stayed at home. Luckily he is now healthy and on his way to Abu Dhabi. He will drive the two races as preparation for the ELMS. For our young drivers is was a weekend with a steep learning curve. Yesterday we had a small problem which might have cost us the win. Today we had to drive with a damaged car and were happy to cross the finish line. We are very motivated for Abu Dhabi.”